Friday, March 29, 2013


Evolutionary stages of a Tango Leader/Navigator:

1.  Too chicken to step onto a dance floor - even if it is completely empty and big enough to house a decent sized milonga

2.  On the dance floor - but going completely against the line of dance (your instructor never told you the right direction to go!)

3.  Bumping into everyone and being pitied because you are shaking and in a cold sweat and looking sheepish because you can't coordinate your arms, legs and torso AND remember all the movements you are supposed to execute

4.  Bumping into everyone and getting the evil eye because you only know a few figures and you just HAVE to complete every step sequence you have drilled in your brain even if the next step will barrel you into couples in your immediate vicinity

5.  Bumping into everyone and getting the evil eye because you think you are a rock star tango genius just because you stole a couple of steps from Youtube and you don't care about hurting other people on the dance floor - such is your urge to "exhibit" all your talents

6.  Bumping into everyone because you are a "Tango Professional" with an impressive resume and all lower tango mortals should part and give way before you like the Red Sea before Moses

7.  Bumping into everyone because you only learned how to dance "Big" and no matter how skilled and experienced you became, you still need a good two meter radius around you to avoid collisions

8.  Bumping into everyone because even though you have finally learned how to dance "Small" you bounce unpredictably in four -no eight, or maybe sixteen - different directions (a good clear two meter radius around you is still a good idea)

9.  Bumping into everyone because you don't understand that you aren't supposed to tailgate - you are still hung up on the erroneous idea that "People aren't supposed to step backwards into the line of dance/step backwards at all" [I assure you, you got it wrong - you are supposed to leave enough space between you and the couple in front of you so that the couple in front of you can take a step back or execute a giro on the spot]

10.  Getting bumped into because even though you try to avoid danger by dancing small or by pausing, you are not quick enough mentally or physically to avoid the crazy dancers who have you in their collision path

11.  Not getting bumped into yourself because you are using your partner as a human shield

12.  Your partner dances with you with closed eyes in a very crowded milonga and it feels like there's no-one in the room but the two of you.  You have the ability to avoid 95% of the collisions using navigational expertise and razor honed agility - the other 5% which you can't avoid you turn at the last moment to absorb errant stilettos, elbows and bodies with your back...

CONGRATULATIONS!  Made it to the top of the Tango Evolutionary Ladder!


Pm said...

I would add one more:
Bumping into everyone because you are a Tango Artist and you are dancing with closed eyes to express the connection with the music.

I have seen some leaders of this type last week.

Irene and Man Yung said...

Dear Pm,

Were we at the same milonga? We swear we saw some of those too!

The weird things people think they could get away with in Tango. Would they drive a car, or even walk on the street with their eyes closed?

Thanks for your comment!

Irene and Man Yung

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